The importance of saving money for your 30s

A new survey finds that 60 percent of parents say they’ll save less money for retirement in order to pay for college. (Thinkstock)

WASHINGTON — The 30s is a time when many young professionals envision “getting it together” after the fun, carefree days of their 20s.

But for today’s 30-somethings, “getting it together,” at least financially, can be difficult.

With 37 million young professionals burdened by $1 trillion in student debt, today’s 30-somethings find it challenging to meet day-to-day expenses, let alone save money. The tight job market and recovering economy only make financial goals more difficult.

Kimberly Palmer, senior editor for U.S. News Money, says the best way to get ahead and build up savings is to put aside as much as you can, when you can.

“You should be aiming to save 20 percent, or even more when you look at both your retirement savings and your shorter-term savings,” Palmer says.

That number may sound ambitious, but preparing for unforeseen expenses will help keep you out of as much debt as possible down the road.

Build a Buffer to Keep Debt at Bay

Planning ahead of time for major life transitions, such as buying a home or having children, is important to keep in mind, Palmer says.

You may feel like you have a lot of money when you save up cash for a down payment on a house or condo, but expenses do not stop there.

“A lot of people don’t realize how expensive it is after you buy a house or have children — some of these major transitions that happen in your 30s — and there are big costs that come up,” Palmer says. “There are times in your 30s when you will be very crunched, especially after big transitions

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